Did you know the Oral Cancer Foundation estimates 45,750 Americans will be newly diagnosed with an oral or oropharyngeal cancer in 2015, and there will be approximately 8,650 associated deaths? That is a one-year jump of about 5%. Brian Hill, Executive Director and Co-Founder of OCF stated, “Big numbers are hard to digest, even abstract to individuals, and people are not sure how important this data is. In simpler terms, it means 125 Americans will be newly diagnosed every day, and one American will die from this disease every hour of the day 24/7/365.” (http://bit.ly/1HsAKsv)
Symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:
– a sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
– red or white patches
– pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
– a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
– difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
– a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
Research has identified a number of factors that contribute to the development of mouth and throat cancers. Smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers older than 50 are the most at risk. More recently, the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is sexually transmitted, has been associated with cancers of the oropharyngeal region that is the part of the throat at the back of the mouth. HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers are related to the increasing incidence of throat cancers in non-smoking adults.
Early detection is key! Keowee Smiles now offers the VELscope Oral Cancer screening for early detection. Ask us about VELscope for your next appointment or call us at 864-888-3102 to schedule.